Beta interferon

Interferon beta-1a

Adminsterd sub-cutaneously or intramuscular injection.

Has a half-life 10 hrs.

Used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).

Associated with a 18–38% reduction in the rate of MS relapses, and to slow the progression of disability in MS patients.

Beneficial effects due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Increases blood brain barrier integrity which is impaired in MS patients.

Most common side effects include: injection site disorders, flu-like symptoms, elevated liver function tests, and blood cell abnormalities.

More serious side effects include depression, seizures, or liver problems.

Thyroid dysfunction often occurs during the first year of treatment and can be associated with hyper or hypothyroidism.

Symptoms diminish over time, but some patients continue to experience adverse manifestations throughout the treatment period, and many discontinue therapy.

This agent does not cure MS, and many patients report no improvements experience serious side-effects that reduce quality of life.

Patients may experience physiological tolerance and reduced effectiveness can occur due to the development of antibodies to the drugs and side effects may persist even after discontinuation of treatment.

Beta -interferin 1a is available as Avonex and Rebif. Avonex has two formulations, a lyophilized powder requiring reconstitution and a pre-mixed liquid syringe kit and is administered by intramuscular injection weekly.

Rebif is a disease-modifying drug (DMD) used to treat multiple sclerosis in cases of clinically isolated syndromes as well as relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis and is similar to the interferon beta protein produced by the human body.

Rebif is administered via subcutaneous injection three times per week.

Extavia is beta-interferon 1b is available for treatment of MS.

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